Radiant Squares Photography 10:22pm, 22 December 2008
I was recently on a shoot with a friend of mine who is relatively new to photography. In fact this was his first official paid shoot. I originally signed on to be an assistant, but in the end he ended up depending on me for pretty much everything (lighting, posing, framing, etc).

This got me thinking about how a lot of people take lots of time to learn how to MAKE great photos, but when it comes time to actually go on the assignment they have no clue what to do. I think this is too common, unfortunately. And it doesn't encourage repeat customers as usually the shoots doing go too well. Managing a photoshoot is no simple task for someone who has never done it before and it is often just an after thought, almost in panic mode after arriving on location.

So, I decided to start a small series of blog posts dealing with some of the basics of a photoshoot. A lot of this stuff may be 2nd nature to some of you seasoned pros, but for some of the beginners I think it will be good information to have in the back of your head. Most of the advice given comes from hard lessons learned so I hope it will save someone from having to go through those bad experiences.

Come check it out at www.radiantsquares.com/blog

I'd love to hear what you guys think, leave me a response on here.
also, if you feel i've left anything out, I'd love for your input. Just drop me a line and I'll try to re-write it or include it in a later posting.

Merry Christmas guys. Lets hope Santa stops by B&H on his way to my house! ;-)
(oh and lets hope he has a BIG bag!)
kaismythphotography 10 years ago
That was great and I will definitely be checking back for more!...As I am starting out doing mostly families and weddings I would love to see some people skill topics that sort of thing....

here is part of an email I just recieved from a mom that I did her newborn shoot yesterday :

"I just wanted to say thank you again for yesterday.
We had Canadian Baby Photographers do Aiva's pics when she was about 9 wks, and I couldn't believe how rough they were with her. She was such a tiny baby, and he would sit her up and literally have time to snap one pic before he reached out and grabbed her a millisecond before she would fall.
Kyle was ready to smack the guy for being so rough with her. But, you were so gentle and loving with Annika ... trying to coax her back to sleep. So, thank you so much ... it definitely made us feel alot better."

Yes Photographers need to be able to make beautiful photos but they need people skills too....Thanks for all of the advice!
dietzy2320 10 years ago
"Managing a photoshoot is no simple task for someone who has never done it before and it is often just an after thought, almost in panic mode after arriving on location."

I have recently started doing modeling shoots. Also helped coordinate some local group shoots. So I have definitely learned this lesson! Also learned that doing is the best way of learning....hands down!

I am off to read the blog entry.
dietzy2320 10 years ago
I enjoyed reading the blog entry and look forward to reading the other parts of it.
"I would love to see some people skill topics that sort of thing...."

Keep your eye out for one of the next postings as I plan to cover this :-)

If there are other topics you would like to read about let me know and I will try to touch on them. If I'm not personally experienced in the topic, I will reach out to someone who I think would have something valuable to contribute.

Look for the next blog post sometime after Christmas!

Happy Holidays!!
thirsty snow [deleted] 10 years ago
Great blog and all excellent ways to make better shots befroe you even touch the camera.

I always try to meet the subject without camera in hand. It goes so much smoother if you know their name, what they do besides modelling and otherwise chat them up. Jamming a camera in someone's face is very impersonal and can be like being leered at. Doing that to someone you are collaborating with (that's really what it is) doesn't help to break the ice and sure doesn't help make great images.

If the shoot is a port building exercise, then I always ask the model what they are looking for or need for their port. I always work to accomodate them first and then work with them to do what I had in mind. This always seems to work really well. Before you know it the model and you are having a good time, getting good shots and collaborating for more good shots.
descriptive fly [deleted] Posted 10 years ago. Edited by descriptive fly (member) 10 years ago
Yes, the trick to doing a good shoot is..there's no trick to it at all. You can be yourself, treat people as you want to be treated, and STILL direct..Your subject / model may be experiencing their first time in front of a camera..

Definitely, people skills are a must. The old saying,"You get more flies with honey, than with vinegar" still applies...
Silviano Carrillo 10 years ago
First of all the letters are hard to read.. I don't know why, It made me uncomfortable.

But after (copy-pasting it to word) reading it I think it's good information, thanks for sharing that.
dietzy2320 10 years ago
I know I also tend to stop during the shoot and show the model some of the photos I am getting so that she can feel confident in the results, see how she is posing, facial expressions, etc and make adjustments. It is also a good way to make sure that I am capturing the types of images that she is seeking for her portfolio.
Part 2 should be up sometime later today
gregpphoto 10 years ago
Word my friend. This is needed.
Nghi La 10 years ago
Thank you for sharing. This is great! Look forward to reading more.
Mary StarMagic - 10 years ago
I am looking forward to more tips.....

Thanks for these
dietzy2320 10 years ago
I liked part 2 as well...looking forward to part 3.
Elizabeth Proffitt 10 years ago
Thanks for taking the time and effort to put this together. My only problem is that I can't copy and paste your blog entries to word where I can save everything together. Everytime I right click to copy and past I get your copyright. How can I get around that?
Elizabeth Proffitt 10 years ago
Please disregard my previous post. I managed to figure it out and now have it save in my documents. Thank you.
muddled downtown [deleted] 10 years ago
I enjoyed reading it. Thanks.
Found out about the security thing the hard way a couple of weeks ago. Lesson learned: always take care of stuff like that yourself.
Part 3 just went up.
www.radiantsquares.com/blog

Leave me some comments if you think it was helpful
Silviano Carrillo 10 years ago
Hey thanks, that was very nice...
Part 4 is done and online
sk3l 10 years ago
Thats great this should really help ... :)
_barb_ 10 years ago
Asking people to bring some of their favourite music to play in the background is a great idea!
ledshot Posted 10 years ago. Edited by ledshot (member) 10 years ago
Excellent post, very useful and informative for those of us who are still in their photography 'infancy'. In a previous line of work I was a careers councillor (cough cough) and settling the person in, engaging with them, putting them at ease and establishing a good 'working relationship' was the most important part of the process, as without this the rest would be pointless. I don't see why it should be any different with a photo shoot, as only the process we intend to take them through is different. Talking about the clients interests and hobbies was always a good way of relaxing them as was 'sign posting' what would happen in the session, which you have mentioned. We know our selves in an unfamiliar situation that we feel better if we know what to expect and feel comfortable with the person in front of us. The face is a window as many have said before, if our clients feel good we'll get good photos... It just goes to show that photography is a wonderful and unique blend of science, art and psychology.


Thanks again, great post and I'll be back for more without a doubt:)
bradleywoodphotography 10 years ago
Great read, thank you!
Great blog... this is what most newbies want and need - bring it on...
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